Hot-desking is a workplace trend that stands next to modern disruptive innovation practices such as open office plans, shared co-working areas, and the office work-life lifestyle of digital nomads, to revolutionize what we consider office work. Along with the growth of mobile services, we see that of hybrid work and hot deskers.
Age of Mobility & Mobile Computing
Remote working careers are predicted to long-outlive the conditions of the pandemic, and at the same time, many have missed the joys of the office environment.
What is Hot-desking?
Hot-desking is a first-come, first-served approach to office work that turns the classic understanding of a physical work station on its head. Mixed with remote work, it’s a formula meant to increase quality of employment.
Hot desks stand for a hybrid workplace, an activity-based work environment, and flexible workforce. Employees choose where in the office they would like to work, based on what feels like the most productive setting for a day in the office. It’s not only great because of cost savings for businesses, but as a flexible work model, it opens the door to collaboration and progress that the old office couldn’t.
How Does Hot-desking Work?
Hot-desking grew in popularity before the onset of the pandemic, but the complexities of returning to the office post-Covid have caused this flexible approach to workspace management to really take off, as it offers the same level of occupational safety and health care as standard office facilities.
Also known as non-reservation-based office management, hot-desking works, as follows:
Traditionally, office workers show up and sit at the same desk, in the same chair, day in and day out. However, hot-desking works on the belief that productivity requires flexibility and that’s what it’s all about.
Some days, workers may perform best next to a bright window in a busy area, while on other days, they may need the quiet of an isolated spot to focus more intensely. Only hybrid work environments can offer that.
When workers have a dedicated and personalized workspace, it’s common for that space to become cluttered and messy (more on that below). Whether it’s personal knick-knacks, piles of paperwork or wrappers, and coffee cups, personalized workstations can get cluttered quickly. Not with hot desking around!
Pros of hot-desking:
- Allows you to bring your own device (BYOD);
- Allows flexible work hours;
- Offers meeting rooms;
- Offers sockets & communication;
- Has office supplies & 101 technology;
- Stores personal belongings;
- Has kitchens, wc & shard space;
- Increases organization & productivity;
- Nourishes relationships between colleagues;
- Onboards to a fluid workspace;
- Empowers through flexibility;
- Encourages autonomy;
- Minimizes overheads;
- Realizes additional cost savings;
- Modernizes tech infrastructure.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Hot-desking operates on a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, as many businesses now do anyway. As a result, the old setup of tower PCs and landline phones has now turned to cloud computing, hot desking-enabled phones and company-issued devices. Laptops and mobile phone workers can plug into any available office spot as if it’s their dedicated personal office space.
Hot-desking & Flexible Work Hours
Being more common to coworking spaces, but still some hot desk offices will break the 9 to 5 routine and offer free access and flexible work hours to employees. You can go in and out whenever you want as long as you cover your work hours part of the contract. Of course, weekly meetings and broad discussion will need additional planning, but nothing that strategic management can’t handle.
Meeting Rooms Available to Reserve
The majority of hot-desking solutions in shared coworking spaces enable meeting room booking through an app or a web log-in. Additionally, amenity-rich alternatives like as WeWork provide access to communal lounges, kitchens, brainstorming places, and conference rooms, as well as a worldwide network of experts.
Hot-Desking, Sockets & Communication
Most office spaces have Wi-Fi available to access to company networks from any device, be it a laptop. smartphone, or tablet. Premises designed for hot desking should have an abundance of outlets and power chords for office members to use upon will.
And whenever you need to make a special call, the perfect hot-desk-tailored office will have areas away from the busy spot where one could talk in private.
Hot-Desking, Office Supplies & 101 Technology
If you’re new to working remotely, it may be helpful to have access to standard office supplies such as paper, pens, markers, whiteboards, and notebooks.
A central printer is the best way to both keep such an old piece of tech around, cut waste to the minimum possible, and still allow colleagues to print docs upon need.
The same goes for projectors, monitors, wider screens, VGA, DVI, or HDMI connectors, to name a few on the tech side.
Belongings & Storage
A concern associated with hot-desking is the lack of a base to store personal items, such as bags, coats, and work accessories.
Users may leave their belongings at a hot desk for a limited period. There are cubbies and lockers in other shared spaces. In private offices, it is more common for employees to stay at individual work stations and the same desk all day. which leads to the looks of messy storage, but nevertheless, convenient. And if you add solutions for creative storage at the office planning level, the premises could turn to heaven.
Kitchens, WC & Shard Space
Any decent office should have a neat toilet, kitchen area, and common space to host talks outside areas meant for focus and flow. And while bathroom basics are mandatory by law, some premises allow you to even get fast cold showers, as that’s proven to boost productivity and innovation.
When you get a cup of coffee, you want to take a minute to hold back and enjoy, preferably in peace, or at least, quiet.
Hot-Desking Increases Organization & Productivity
This office organization system ensures that office workers function in a more organized and minimalist way.
While this means that they cannot add their own personal touches to their workspace, hot-desking ultimately forces employees to maintain a cleaner and more ordered work environment.
For many people, a clean and tidy environment can contribute significantly and increase focus and flow, and hot-desking nourishes this to excellence.
Nourishes Relationships Between Colleagues
When workers sit in the same spot every day, they are surrounded by the same people, which can create some difficulty in forging new relationships with other colleagues.
Hot-desking encourages a far broader degree of socialization than many employees would otherwise experience in the workplace. It benefits office workers in providing opportunities to expand their professional friendship base, learn about their colleagues’ skill sets, and network and collaborate more broadly.
Empowers Through Flexibility
The key to productivity within a company is cultivating a happy, positive, empowered, and motivated team. This can be a challenge when you consider how varied individual needs and preferences can be. While it may be daunting for some to venture out of the comfort of a designated personal space, being able to move around the office space and choose your preferred position given where your head is at can be empowering and conducive to optimal productivity.
Many differing personality types can make up a team of people, all occupying the same office space. Consequently, giving workers the flexibility of choosing which kind of environment will allow them to perform best can significantly increase their sense of job satisfaction and productivity.
For example, some people work best in quiet environments, while others thrive in busy atmospheres, and hot-desking allows people the flexibility to choose.
Empowering employees with autonomy can also improve morale, boost productivity and job satisfaction, and improve health, as shown by rarer leave of absence with practitioners.
Hot-desking promotes flexibility, allowing employees to feel a greater degree of control over their daily schedules. For example, some may need to leave early for an event or choose to work remotely, only turning up to the office to attend a meeting or network or collaborate. Hot-desking allows such employees the autonomy to run their own day, without the company wasting valuable resources and money on keeping an immovable desk space vacant for large chunks of time.
Traditional office spaces typically assign a specific workstation to each worker, and this space is kept for them whether they are in attendance or not.
However, with such a significant shift toward more flexible working models, this system is no longer cost-effective for businesses.
Hot-desking allows companies to greatly reduce wasted space and storage, as workers no longer need an individually designated spot to be essentially paid for when they are not there.
This shift in office management enables businesses to not only reduce their equipment expenses, but to downsize their commercial footprints entirely. Hot-desking allows firms to move into more affordable commercial premises while not sacrificing any productivity within the workforce.
Modernizes Tech Infrastructure
The more mobile a workforce becomes, the more modern the technology needs to be to keep them running efficiently. In line with remote and flexible working trends, companies are shifting entirely over to cloud-based business systems that allow their employees to access everything remotely.
The flexibility of hot-desking is forcing the hand of any hesitant management personnel to make the leap over and join the digital age in highly efficient work processes that drive productivity. Printing, payroll, HR, and even virtual meetings and collabs are available from anywhere in the building – or the world – with the right technology and the right cybersecurity awareness measures.
Disadvantages of Hot-Desking?
While the advantages of hot-desking are clear and significant, the management model does come with its hurdles and challenges.
- Some employees appreciate having their own personal space
- It may increase isolation and lone-working.
- Impromptu meetings suffer.
- Struggle to find key colleagues.
Depending on how these challenges are handled, a business may find that some workers end up frequently opting to avoid the office. Wanting to come into the office but not feeling that there will be room for them can create unhealthy feelings of isolation and poor motivation if left addressed.
Some People Value Their Own Desk
People differ, and some thrive more when they can rely on this sense of security.
It’s vital that businesses considering changing to hot-desking broach this subject with individual workers to determine how best to continue supporting them in what they need to feel happy in their job.
Lone-Working & Isolation
While hot-desking can be a great way to bring a workforce together, it can also create divides and feelings of isolation.
Sometimes, workers may miss out on a preferred spot because their transportation to work had a delay. Some days, an employee may have no choice but to operate from a whole different floor to their closest co-workers – it all depends on the available space on any given day.
Impromptu Meetings Suffer
Especially valid for highly-dynamic fields, sometimes you need to stand up and shout to everybody of an important happening, announcement, finding, etc.
Struggle to Find Key Colleagues
Being fluid leads to lack of a system and that can frustrate people when they can find a right person when needed. There are measures to mitigate it, of course, but unless addressed, in-person communication could suffer.
Onboarding For A Fluid Workspace
The pandemic conditions have caused many to work remotely, while others have been hired during lockdowns and now have to find a way to integrate into a new workplace despite not being new to the company.
Hot-desking allows new employees to adjust to a new office environment with relative ease. In many cases, by the time a worker enters the hybrid premises, they are already familiar with the company’s systems and processes.
With a hot-desking model in place, all people need to do is find the right spot and get to work as they mingle with colleagues.
Hot-Desking, A Flexible Work Environment, Remarks
Many industries are coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic and want to both keep the benefits of working remotely and go beyond its limitations. From travel picking up in 2022 to restaurants opening for full-service again to remote workers heading back into the office, things are returning to a sense of normalcy. But it’s important to remember that every organization is different, and every workforce comprises a unique set of individuals.
Hot-desking is a brilliant solution for many businesses, but it will not be the right fit for all. Ultimately, the decision to switch to hot-desking will require significant consideration regarding the needs of the company and its workforce.